Home sweet home. We just got back from a mini-tour of the South, visiting my family and relatives. Both long-time readers may remember that my folks live in Starkville, MS where Dad is a professor emeritus as Mississippi State University. Christine had never seen their place and I had not been down there in more than 5 years, so we decided it was time. It will come as no surprise to denizens of the south that Mississippi in August, is hot, bad hot, bad bad bad hot. But, Mom and Dad have a pool. We spent a lot of time in that water with my nephew Brooks.
We also got to meet a lot of my parents’ friends, tour the campus of MSU, read for pleasure for a change, eat my mom’s superb cooking for a week, and go shooting with my dad (On a side note, Christine is becoming a crack shot with her pistol, which makes her even more attractive to me). We wanted to fish but it was so hot the fish wouldn’t bite. We also visited the church my parents attend. Christine and I were both impressed with their campus ministry.
We attended Decoration Day in Helena, AL., for my paternal grandmother’s side of the family. For those not in the know, Decoration Day is a southern custom where families meet in a cemetery once a year to put flowers on the gravestones and hold a semi-reunion. I always enjoy meeting extended family, primarily because both sides of my family are so big that there is always somebody new to meet. The only downside to the whole trip was that my Dad was somewhat limited in his activity by his shoulder, which he injured by falling out of a tree a few weeks ago. If you know my Dad, you probably know that asking what he was doing up a tree is a pointless question.
Christine and I also went to the Mississippi University for Women to hear Rick Bragg speak. Bragg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is the author of one of my favorite non-fiction books All Over But The Shoutin’ . It’s a memoir of his upbringing and experiences travelling the world as a journalist. If you want a powerful read that will make you appreciate what you have, check this book out.
We spent some time in north Alabama, visiting some of my older aunts and uncles on my mother’s side, as well as some of my cousins. It would have been good to have more time with them, but modern schedules being what they are, I will take what I can get.
Before we left I finally had time to make my essential road-trip mix. It made the trip a lot more enjoyable, for me at least.
Reality kicks in again soon with my return to work tomorrow, class starting up again, and my internship starting on September 2. At least I am done with Dr. Sunshine. Watch this space as everything in my life kicks into high gear.